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Team format for finals

Hi there, I coach an under 10 netball team and have rotated the team fairly throughout the season. We have now qualified for finals and am wondering if I should play my strongest team?

our under 10s teams are considered to be part of netta so they dont do finals.  but if you are playing in a competitive comp then thats a different ball game.  

this is a very tricky area.  the entire team has played together to get into the finals, so all have earned the right to play.  some coaches will consider the ages of the girls and say that it is cruel to exclude part of the team just to win.  as that is not not what sport at this age should be about, others will be of the mind set, if you are playing for a club, in a competitive sport, then the last 3 games for finals are played for the club, and therefore play whatever combo will work to win.  it really depends if winning is your main goal and if you have the support of your club and parents.  

last year i coached U11s and we miraculously made it to the finals.  i asked my team what they wanted to do, and they said (funnily enough) that they wanted me to coach them to win.  i did point out that this could be that some of them wouldnt play.  they were all ok with this.  i had 10 in my team, and we made it to finals with me only playing my 7 strongest players.  one girl had shown poor attitude training so i told her and her parents that no matter what would i be player her due to her attitude (this did not go down well with her mum), one got sick and didnt want to play in the final even if i could get her on the court, and the other i managed to get her on the court for a quarter as we were up by 6 goals.  we won.  but i will say it is hard on the players that dont play.  i did try and make it a special day, by providing cheer costumes for them that they got to keep after, and made they knew that sometimes supporting your team from the sidelines is important too.  but it is a very young age to try and teach this type of lesson.

i would be talking to your club, to the kids and to the parents before making a call for this age group.  unless we are talking 10A as to me, if they are going to play at the top grades for their age, the sooner they learn that sometimes the best thing they can do, is support to help their team win, the better.  the lower grades, that could be a different story.

I am in the exact same position. I coach 11 yr olds ( Yr 6A) and they have got to the semi-finals which they play next week.

I have 10 in my team and they have all had a fair number of games during the season and all learnt heaps, but I do have a few less strong players.

I am going to ask the team what their goal is over the next few weeks. If they say that they want to win , I am intending to tell them that in order for them to have a good chance of winning that may mean some of them do not get much/if any game time. I will ask everyone to turn up on the day ready to play and then play it by ear. If we have a convincing lead during the match then I will try my best to give all some game time.

I don't feel there is an easy answer. Which ever way you play it, you may not satisfy all. If you have a competitive team ( which I have) then it would be a disappointment for them not to achieve their goal by not playing your strongest combination on the day.

I'll let you know how things pan out!!!

That's really hard question.  

It's funny that if you asked all the girls on the team (or hypothetically their parents) if they want to put a team on to win or give everyone an even go, they'd all say play to win, probably assuming that they'd be guaranteed a starting spot........I wonder if their answer would change if they really considered warming the bench for the game.

I told my 15/16 yr olds that in the finals, I put the best combinations on the court for the opposition, but attitude and effort also went a long way. I also encouraged the girls to take some responsibility and tell me if they thought they were getting outplayed by their opponent.  And combinations are a funny thing.  Some kids just work well together and some don't regardless of their skill level.  

As coach, you can ask all the people you want, but the decision with who to play begins and ends with you so be confident in your plan.

I'm of the opinion that everyone should get some time on the court in the finals, even if it's for a 1/4.  We win as a team and lose as a team.

i am sorry but as a coach and parent i find most of these answers offfensive. Yeah for sarah. Shes the coach i want for my 3 girls. The other coaches are simply telling the girls that they arent good enough to play so they dont count. That winning is more important than anything. Giving the girls who arent given a chance to play low self esteem instead of encouraging them to participste. Training effort and attitude are important when working out game time. Not giving players court time becsuse of skill........I think those coaches need to read the coaches code of conduct.
Answered using Sportplan Mobile App

Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment and I actually totally agree. This was so old now but the issue I had although not expressed very well was 2 girls who had fine skills but had been disruptive in training, literally running away with the balls, refusing to take the court if they didn't get a position they wanted and being very rude to their team mates. It was a bad year but we went to finals and those girls only got a half game each because everyone deserves at least that. I explained to the team how I was making my decisions, based on attitude and commitment during the season. And the issues had been discussed with the parents many times during the season so it wasn't really a surprise. This kind of situation is very far from the norm, especially for 10 year old girls I imagine. 

I don't believe you need a team of champions, just a team who feels they all belong and can work with each other and all love their netball. As a coach it's my job to help that happen and 2 years later i can definitely say we have that. Still haven't won a GF but the look on their faces when they take the court, even when they are losing is why I do it. 

Answered using Sportplan on Mobile

All players (especially when in primary school) should get an even rotation in finals, sometimes the weakest players mentally cope better with the pressure of finals an out perform stronger players who cave under that pressure. My U13's get even game time in finals, Junior Premier League all take the court but some more than others and in Senior Premier League its the strongest team dynamic against the opposition that plays- 3 would probably sit off for 4 full quarters. If you lose a final because of a weak player- you havent done your job as a coach

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  • or access our tried and tested plans